At what pace should I be creating LingQs?

Should I take longer to memorize the word a little and review previous sentences or is just reading enough?

Anyone who does the latter and has had success, please let yourself be known! :slight_smile:

Long Version:
I only started LingQ a few days ago (and haven’t really done too much yet because of this unanswered question) but I couldn’t seem to find anyone who had talked about this or asked this after 30 minutes of searching around LingQ tutorials and forum posts; just want to start off on the right foot.

This all may seem a bit pedantic, but, should I be slow and methodical, thinking about the word’s placement in the sentence grammatically and taking a few extra seconds to guess the word before I translate it, reviewing each sentence I complete (what I am doing right now),


should I quickly attempt to guess the current word, if nothing comes up, translate, briefly acknowledge it and move on to the next word, only really being bothered with what the sentence means/is trying to convey?

If I chose the latter, I’d probably have at least 3x the amount of words read right now, but does that mean I would have more known words? I really have no idea. I have some compulsion toward the former since that’s kinda how everything is done traditionally elsewhere, but the latter feels so extreme (relatively) because of that bias.

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Are you learning the target language from scratch or do you have some basic knowledge of the language?

In general…In my opinion, you should read, looking up words/lingq’ing. Use sentence mode and use the “translate” button to show the meaning of the entire sentence for help. Both in getting a better understanding of the meanings of the words in that context (which might vary depending on context) AND to help follow along with the story/article/etc in terms of understanding and enjoyment. As you LingQ, if you are unfamiliar with the word and it’s pronunciation, you should click the audio symbol to hear its pronunciation (if you don’t have auto pronunciation on). In sentence mode you should click the audio for the sentence. YMMV with the text to speech quality depending on the language, but at least for many of the languages it’s good enough to get a basic understanding of the pronunciation.

Short, beginner content, I would probably repeat a few times over the course of a couple of days trying to hopefully get an understanding of some of the words, but then move on to a new lesson after a few readings and maybe come back to it after a few days. Regardless I wouldn’t repeat more than a few times as you’ll see the most common words in other lessons and new contexts. If you don’t “know” all the words, don’t worry about moving on. And by “know”, I mean just from context of the lesson. This is also why I say move on to a new lesson because, after a few readings you will know the story and not really be sure if you know the word or just have it memorized from knowing the story. In any event, some words will be difficult to make stick. Do not keep reading the same lesson over and over trying to make after last word stick. You’ll not make progress as quickly imo.

Listen to the audio with the lesson as many times as you want or can. Listen to things whenever you can. In the car, during a workout, doing chores, etc.

In all stages it is probably beneficial to read and listen at the same time at least occasionally. It’s very helpful in the beginning to see and hear to learn pronunciation.

That’s a quick summary of some of my own thoughts. There’s lots of ways to use LingQ so by no means is everything I said gospel. Everyone has their little nuances that they add, but hopefully the above is a good set of general ideas that can be tweaked here and there.


As far as I can tell, there are several different parts of learning a language. Listening, reading, understanding individual words, and understanding in context. I will share my opinion of each, then sum up learning a new language as a whole.

The easiest part, especially when you don’t understand a single thing. If you’re doing things like dishes, or laundry, you can listen to material in your target language. This step is absolutely crucial to acclimate to the sounds and nuances of your target language, without the added pressure and distraction of trying to understand anything. Once you’re more advanced, you will understand more and more of your listening material, however, you must continue listening without stopping to listen. I recommend the news for complete beginners, and podcasts once you’re more advanced. Make sure you’re exposed to a variety of accents in your target language.

Use LingQ for this. If you’re a beginner in the language, or working with a particularly hard passage, I suggest listening to while reading the whole thing, working through it piece by piece (either phrases or sentences, whatever helps you understand it) with the audio (translate a few words so they make sense to you, play the matching audio, and continue), then listen + read again. You will not understand perfectly or remember every single word. But, when you’re doing your listening, you’ll notice that you understand more than you did before, even if only by a couple words.

Understanding individual words:
This can lead people into a false sense of understanding the language. Of course, you need to know a bunch of words, but they are worthless without context. Take the sentence “He was shown up”. You can know what every single word means and still not understand that someone did better than him at that thing he did. You will go through a phase of only understanding a few words. With the listening, you will be building contexts around them, and it will be easier for you to understand phrases and sentences instead of single words.

Understanding in context:
The only way to really understand and communicate in a language. It requires knowing what words normally come together and what they mean when they’re together vs separate. This is where the listening will really pay off. You won’t realize that it’s making much difference, until you suddenly realize that you understand things from context, that wouldn’t make sense on a word by word basis.

Get as much exposure as you can, and don’t worry about how many more words you think you know today, compared to yesterday, or compared to a week ago. Your brain will be working on it without telling you. I emphasize the listening because it’s the first way people learn language. We aren’t babies, but we still have the ability to learn new languages through lots of exposure, just like babies. Unlike babies, we can already read, so learning to read in a new language, and maybe even a new alphabet, is considerably easier.

My background:
Learned Spanish in school, was ok at it, but it’s useless to me in spite of knowing quite a bit of vocabulary.
I’ve been living in Israel and studying Hebrew for 4+ years, and I made little progress until I started using LingQ regularly, about a month and a half ago.
I lacked motivation to only learn one language, so I decided to add Russian, since almost everyone in my family speaks Russian as a first language.
I don’t like Russian, so I needed more motivation. I’ve been interested in being more exposed to Africa, so I chose Swahili. It is written in the Latin alphabet (unlike Hebrew and Russian), it is straightforward to pronounce, and it is a lingua franca in Africa. Most of all, I really like it.
So for the last month and a half or so, I’ve been studying 3 languages, 2 of which are completely new to me. Since LingQ supports Hebrew and Russian, I aim for 50 LingQs a day in each. Sometimes I end up with more, sometimes less. Swahili I’m kind of winging with an odd assortment of tools that aren’t as good as LingQ. I hope this helps answer your question.
PS. What is your target language?


just read a lot

You are learning Russian, yes? I don’t know how having a different script affects the validity of my advice. But in general my advice is to get comfortable with not understanding what you’re reading and just read anyway. The understanding will follow.

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Thanks for all the comments everyone, really appreciate it.
I am currently learning Russian, yes :slight_smile:

Here’s what I do now after all of everyone’s comments:
In sentence mode, listen first, read sentence and translate unknown words. If my understanding was a bit iffy, I translate the whole sentence, then re-read it.

I find that I end up remembering things just as well as spending more time specifically studying a single word, if not better. Its also more fun that way since I get to focus more on the story from being faster.

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